How Do Cheap Vs. Expensive Rigs Compare for Rock/Metal?


Jared Dines sat down with a number of guitars and amplifiers and did himself a little science experiment. As lovers of gear, there’s no doubt in my mind that any of us would opt for the higher-end stuff given the opportunity. But with real-life financial restrictions considered, just how well does cheap gear work for rock and metal?

With several rigs ranging from just $170 at the low, low end all the way to $5,700 at the nice, nice end, Mr. Dines demoed a riff in the mix through all four setups. Unsurprisingly, the Revv Generator 120 and EBMM Majesty at the top of the food chain sound absolutely tits. It might come as a bit of a shock, though, just how decent the $170 Squier + Ibanez practice amp sounds. I won’t say it sounds great or anything, but it does sound damn decent for less than a couple hundo. Have a listen for yourself and see what’s up.

Ultimately, the moral of this story is one we all know and would probably prefer not to believe: at the end of the day, the player makes the gear. Sure, the nice stuff makes life a little easier sometimes, but if all you have access to is a pink Squier Strat and crummy practice amp, by all means, riff away, friend. Thanks to Jared Dines for doing this fun little test!

Written by

Gear Gods intern Maxwell studied English at Cal Poly Pomona and has since realized life ain’t all about semicolons and syntax. He’s studying audio now, and will probably judge your music taste before your grammar.